Dear Farm Partners,
We’re happy to place in this week’s basket our first round of Chioggia Beets (pronounced kee-OH-jee-uh), an Italian heirloom beet with brilliant pink skin and candy cane stripes on the inside. They’re rather beautiful to look at, and make a special treat for those among us who love beets. You can cook these up just as you would regular beets, but I must inform you that those beautiful stripes and vibrant colors fade in the cooking process. If you wish to showcase chioggia beets in a dish, I would suggest some kind of raw beet salad. Either grate your beets (maybe with Carrots?) and add a little olive oil and lemon juice, or slice them very thinly. Thick chunks of raw beet are not very appetizing, at least to me.
Keep in mind that beet tops are a bonus! All those leaves are edible and make good cooked greens. In fact, they are almost exactly the same thing as Chard (they are virtually the same plant, one is simply bred for leaves and the other for the root) which brings me to
Swiss Chard and Broccoli: This week some of you received broccoli in your basket, and some of you received Swiss chard. I realize that for the chard people this adds up to a lot of leaves if you account for the Kale and beet greens. Thankfully these greens can be cooked down with garlic and stirred into many wonderful pasta dishes (such as Alice Water’s Swiss Chard Gratin) or into an egg frittata. For the broccoli people, don’t forget to eat the broccoli leaves. They are very tender and have a nice broccoli taste.
White Russian Kale: This is like the Red Russian Kale of a few weeks ago, except with white streaks instead of purple.
Purple Kohlrabi: You have all met this vegetable before, but while I’m at it I may as well mention that, surprise, kohlrabi leaves are ALSO EDIBLE.
Spearmint: Spearmint can be used in tea, like last week’s peppermint, but is very common as a cooking mint for both sweet and savory dishes. Add it too your grated beet and carrot salad or salad mix.
This week’s bread share consists of Polenta Oat Currant loaves (it sounds crunchy but is actually a nice soft bread, a little denser than regular white crusty loaves).
We’re always looking for more Farm Partners, so if you’re enjoying your produce, egg, or bread shares, spread the word! Even though it’s a few weeks into the season, it is not too late to sign up for a harvest basket.
Thank you for being a part of our community!